Have you ever had one of those “hey, I stood in that line” moments?
Yeah, me neither. At least, until I saw this post on BoingBoing. It features video of the line to get into the new McDonalds in Moscow in 1990. And yes, I remember standing in that line. I only think it took a couple of hours by the time we got there. Maybe two and a half.
Here’s the video:
I was fifteen years old, with a student tour group of the Soviet Union. The People-to-People Friendship Caravan. We’d been in Russia for three weeks. Well, technically, we’d spent half that time in the Ukraine, since we were traveling around by bus, exciting the locals with our American-ness.
Seriously, we were rock stars. I remember watching a group of soldiers marching down the road break formation and start chasing our bus when they saw an American flag on the side. We were chased in a boat by people shouting, “I love Americans!” That may have been the only English they knew.
For the most part, it was a highly formative experience for me, involving being far from my family and under what can only be described as poor supervision.
But we did eat at that McDonalds. After weeks of Soviet mystery meat, we were ready for some good old-fashioned American mystery meat.
Actually the food was really good. I’m not sure if that was just my teenage longing for home talking or whether it was really a cut above, but we all really liked it. And the restaurant itself was a palace.
I scoured my old photos for one of me in that line, but I couldn’t find one. I did, however, find this:
Which is the actual wrapper from my actual Cheeseburger. I know it was a cheeseburger, because the second word literally reads as,”Cheezboorger.” The first word is, very roughly, something like, “Dvo-ee-no-ee.”
I’m guessing I had a double.